South Africa Crowns A New Queen Following Miss Universe Victory
If the winner is unable to complete her reign, the first runner-up will take over the title... It's these words that changed the life of 26 year old Ade van Heerden, the first runner-up in this year's Miss South Africa competition. Following the original winner Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters' crowning as Miss Universe 2017, it was the medical doctor from Herolds Bay in the Western Cape who had to step in to complete the last 6 months of Nel-Peters' reign as Miss South Africa.
Two months ago, when Nel-Peters officially withdrew from Miss World in favour of the Miss Universe Competition, Van Heerden was awarded the Miss World South Africa title to ensure that she could compete in the Miss World Contest with the approval of the Miss World Organisation. Van Heerden went on to share the Beauty With A Purpose award with 4 other contestants, including Miss World 2017, India's Manushi Chhillar. She made it to the top 10 of Miss World 2017 before missing out on a top 5 spot. Upon her return to South Africa, she believed her beauty queen days were over... until Steve Harvey called out SOUTH AFRICA early Monday morning (SA time).
A tearful Van Heerden accepted the title and crown following a special video message from Nel-Peters, who is now working for the Miss Universe Organization in New York City. She welcomed Van Heerden to the Miss South Africa sisterhood and wished her all the best for her reign. "I look forward to growing the Miss South Africa brand and working with the class of 2018. I believe that it is important to invest your time and share as much knowledge as possible with the youth. During my time as first princess, I dedicated myself to teaching young women about their bodies, self-love, making healthy choices and self-belief. I hope to continue to do so. I will also continue building on the work that Demi-Leigh has done so far. My mission is to be of service to my country in whatever way needed," Van Heerden told the media after being crowned.
Andre Sleigh / Global Beauties